Bond-pad is an important structure of a microelectronic device because it plays the role of enabling the device to communicate with other external devices. Its integrity directly affects the performance of the microelectronic device. This paper presents our investigation on bond-pad Inter-Metal Dielectric (IMD) crack issue. Our investigation has considered the following factors: top via pattern (sea of vias/without vias) for bond-pad, top metal thickness (8 kÅ /9 kÅ /10 kÅ) and probe overdrive force (30 um/50 um/70 um). The bond-pad IMD cracks were exposed and decorated by chemicals (Aqua Regia and Hydrochloric acid), and inspected by an optical microscope. A scoring system was designed to assess the dependence of the bond-pad IMD crack severity on the above-mentioned factors. The investigation results showed that the IMD crack severity is strongly dependent on the probe overdrive force, top via pattern, and only slightly on top metal thickness.

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